In a major policy decision, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to regularise the Gunthewari schemes till December 31, 2020. Wednesday’s decision will be applicable to those Gunthewari schemes which were not regularised till that period.
The Gunthewari Regularisation Act was enacted by the state government in August 2001 and the provisions of the Act had benefited the Gunthewari schemes prior to January 1, 2001.
However, the lands which are under encroachment or in a specific area including no- development area, green area, tourism area, environmentally sensitive areas and areas under the control of defence department are not able to avail the benefit of this scheme as per the law.
Although many Gunthewari areas in the state are regularised due to this act, regularisation of some areas is still pending so people are facing various difficulties. Considering all these, the government has decided to extend the implementation date in this act. Accordingly, now till December 31, 2020, those places where Gunthewari schemes have been implemented but they have not been regularised, can avail the benefit of amendments in this Act. No eligibility criteria or conditions have been changed.
Gunthewari is the traditional method used for measuring land in the state and several farmers had sold their plots on this basis. However, as per the Gunthewari Act, the practice of creating small plots of agricultural land in multiple 'gunthas' was illegal and hence carrying out constructions on the 'gunthewari' land was not legally approved. As per the Act, the owner of such a house was also not allowed to sell his property.
The Fadnavis led government in November 2015 had diluted the Gunthewari Act paving the way for regularisation of at least 50 lakh houses across Maharashtra especially in Pimpri-Chinchwad area of Pune district.